RITA Award-winning, New York Times best-selling author Mary Jo Putney is justly celebrated as a master of the Regency romance. Here Alexander Randall is the last heir to the Earl of Daventry and he must find himself a bride. His prayers are answered in the form of distressed midwife Julia Bancroft. But though their union would benefit both parties, Julia is reluctant to surrender her heart.
©2010 Mary Jo Putney, Inc. (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
“… rich in complex, realistically complicated characters, expertly spiced with intrigue, and infused with a wickedly subtle wit.” (Booklist)
I purchased the Audible book after a great sale recently. I had read and liked Mary Jo Putney's works in the past (though not in the last decade) and decided to find a good Summer read.
What I really liked about this book is that it managed to avoid nearly every cliche that are so rampant in the romance field right now. Despite there being many chances, there were no "great misunderstanding" and the characters reacted logically, calmly, and intelligently to situations. There was no evil 'big baddie' forcing deus et machina situations. The female character isn't an annoying 'spitfire' who gets into situations just so she can be rescued by the alpha male. The male isn't even alpha - he's respectful of the heroine but not so much that it is anachronistic. The Heroine doesn't suddenly develop the ability to shoot a gun, ride a horse, or any other implausible ability just to get out of a situation. Nor is modern knowledge of medicine used to make fun of the doctoring of that era.
What we have is a very gentle, well written, emotionally resonating story of two people getting to know each other and learning to trust. It is skillfully plotted novel that doesn't rely on action so much as communication to build the relationship over time. It's what I would characterize as a mature novel - for those who are tired of the cliches and overwrought plots and just want a novel of two decent people, with hard pasts, who learn to overcome their own fears of intimacy to create a love match.
The audible narrator, though male, did an excellent job of both the female and male voices as well as the plot.
this man is a fantastic narrator. He makes these stories come to life, the combination of Mary Jo Putney's writing and Simon's narration are priceless for historical regency romance! I look forward to more!
A decent man works to heal he woman he loves, ah...so refreshing, no stupid misunderstandings, just two people trying to make each other whole. Nothing more to say other than I enjoyed it immensely.
Say something about yourself!
The story flowed in such a way I "couldn't put it down"
This book was a reminder of the older Putney books I enjoyed so much. Might have to buy them again!
Randall. He was strong without arrogance. Sensitive without weakness.
The reaction of Julia's brother to her after years of separation brought tears to my eyes.
Avid mystery reader, huge Agatha Christie fan.
I really enjoyed this performance and this story. I was very leery about trying another romance novel as an audiobook, my first romance audiobook experience didn't end well (in fact, it hasn't ended, I can't bear to finish it).
However, Simon Prebble gave a very enjoyable performance of one of Putney's usually enjoyable Regency romances. His pace and rhythm were entirely appropriate and his voicing of the various characters was very well done, indeed. I particularly liked that he did not try to force his voice to some ridiculously high pitch for the female parts, rather he adopted a softness of tone which he even managed to vary for different female characters.
The story itself is characteristic of Mary Jo Putney, there is a wide cast of characters from related novels, but they manage not to encroach too much on the central characters' development, something I have always appreciated about her "serial" books. Apart from the feeling that the story ended somewhat abruptly, likely because the characters will re-appear in subsequent novels, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular listening experience.
I have a PhD in American Literature but my love affair with romance novels on audible is going strong.
This story was brain candy for me. I found it a bit slow at the beginning, with a bit too much detailed conversation as if they were discussing the grocery lists. But I figured it was part of the development of a love relationship that starts out as non-existent - despite their marriage - and builds throughout. Alexander Randall who is suddenly to become the Earl of Daventry needs a bride, and he picks the only woman he's ever found attractive, the widowed midwife Julia Bancroft. Since the marriage proposal comes at a time when they are basically strangers and is offered only as a solution to Julia's life being threatened, they negotiate a marriage that leaves all kinds of doors open for later divorce. Julia's previous marriage has left her afraid of marrying again. Needless to say the plan to allow easy exit grows problematic as they become more involved with each other. Since we know there will be a happy ending, the story's biggest flaw is an inability to create much suspense. The characters are thoroughly lovable, though there are plenty of villains to keep things interesting, and the problem resolutions thoroughly satisfying. Pleasant and not too challenging read.
This is the Lost Lord series book 2 by Putney. I like the story and was taken with the characters in this one. Not the typical hero and heroine, but easy to get involved with. Enjoyed their story and enjoyed the way the series winds the characters together. I also like that each book does a little to set the stage for the next one, makes one want to move right into the next story!
Plot holes, cardboard characters with zero development, modern sensibilities and turns of phrase totally out of place in the historic context... My disbelief was less and less suspendible.
What a great story. Fantastic Julia has suffered some really horrible stuff done by her first husband, his father, and her own father. Then she gets hooked up with a really cool guy who is willing to do whatever it takes her to get past all of that and have a normal life as a wife and mother. Somewhere along the way add a great little boy who needs someone to love him, and you have a family.
Simon Prebble isn't just good. He's one of the best, and as usual his performance brings this terrific story to life.
Well worth the time and credit.
Bought this ages ago because Simon Prebble is the narrator, but even that couldn't make me wade through it at the time. Tried again lately and am determined to get through it. I don't find that the book avoids the cliches of the genre as much as some other reviewers, but it's not gushing with them either. Mary Jo Putney is one of the better light historical romancers of this period I think. There are are some anachronisms in phrasing and occasionally in the attitudes of some of the characters, but if a reader can overlook these, it could be a satisfying read/listen.
"Never Less Than a Lady"
I found this a really enjoyable audiobook, fairly typical of it's genre. I love listening to Simon Prebble read, he has an excellent way with characterisation and is very easy to listen to.
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